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In honor of Halloween, my favorite holiday, I offer this. For the last 20-plus years, I’ve had the same two favorite movies. Except I’ve sometimes been just a bit hesitant to declare them because I didn’t want to sound like I was trying to be intentionally “strange.”

But, eventually, I always just go ahead and say it: My two favorite movies are “The Wizard of Oz” and … “Night of The Living Dead.”

Of course, at first blush, this may seem a ridiculous combo. But it really isn’t. Because, and this took me years to fully realize, the truth is that they’re both horror movies. And horror is my favorite kind of movie.

Hold on, you say. Judy Garland and Toto dancing and prancing down the Yellow Brick road is a horror movie? Well, it is not just a horror movie. It’s a musical, a fantasy, a childrens’ classic, etc. But it is also a horror movie, make no mistake, and I consider it actually the first horror movie I ever saw.
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The nicest kind of story

When I was a young teen, Pete Axthelm wrote a sports commentary piece in “Newsweek” that really ticked me off. The details may be a little hazy after three decades. But if memory serves, he was lamenting the fact that the Washington Redskins had been squeezed out of an NFL playoff spot because my team, the St. Louis Cardinals, had lost listlessly to another team.

And I thought, “Tough luck! Why didn’t your dumb Redskins just win more games?” The Cardinals had enough to be worried about doing damage to their own selves year after year, let alone getting blamed for hated Washington’s disappointment.
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When I was a kid, my sister and I would seriously annoy our mother in various ways – honestly, it usually was not intentional – and my mom would, at times, exclaim with exasperation: “It’s no wonder I’m half nuts!”

(It was understood, of course, even by a hair-trigger smart-aleck such as myself that if I’d have dared to say, “Only half?” that I would have been playing with my life.)

Now that my sister has three children _ I’m glad to stick with “aunthood” _ I will sometimes joke with her, “Well, it’s no wonder you’re half nuts … but what’s my excuse?”

All of this is to say that I suppose every human being who’s lived to be old enough to not be “young” anymore, has wondered how “today” got to be “yesterday” and even “a long time ago” so quickly.
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Supposedly, the Mystics will have “news” soon … and while we wait for that, let’s look ahead to few weeks from now, when at the end of October I head out to Western Kansas and run into Sheryl Swoopes and Jackie Stiles.

Well, among others, including the Atlanta Dream’s Shalee Lehning, the New York Liberty’s Sidney Spencer, the San Antonio Silver Stars’ Helen Darling, and former WNBA player Edna Campbell, a cancer survivor. They are all scheduled to take part in the WEPAC “Hoops for Hope” exhibition basketball game, an event that began last year.
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With the end of the world championship today, we’ll take a break from games … although there’s still a ton left up in the air about the WNBA.

Coaching jobs open in Chicago, New York and San Antonio. What appeared to be (finally) a great GM/coach collaboration with ownership in Washington now broken up with Angela Taylor and the Mystics not reaching agreement on a new contract … or maybe the Mystics just deciding they really do prefer a lack of stability. It was nice while it lasted, I guess.

The continual expansion talks about certain cities, which at this point still seems just talk to me. Some concern about Chicago as a franchise.  And the official start of college practice is right around the corner, of course.

So, I will continue to do the weekly ESPN.com chat on Thursdays at 1 p.m. Central time. I also will soon be starting a new duty at ESPN.com, which is planned to be a twice-weekly look at college sports outside of football and basketball. That will be on ESPN.com’s college sports page, which has expert contributors such as Graham Hays (women’s soccer), Dave Reed (women’s volleyball), Sheldon Shealer (men’s soccer) and Brion O’Connor (hockey).

And I’ll continue to post things on this blog … although, they won’t always necessarily have to do with sports. But somehow, I usually make a connection.

Out in the field … kind of

Today, Brenda Van Lengen and I will be over at Alvamar  Country Club in Lawrence, Kan.,  doing “She’s Got Game.” KU is hosting the Marilyn Smith Invitational, and so we’ll talk a little golf, some volleyball and you know we’ll get in hoops, too.

Now, are you wondering who Marilyn Smith is? She’s one of the original founders of the LPGA, a Sunflower State native who went to the University of Kansas back in the days when there was no women’s golf team at the school.
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Love is *still* all around

OK … the last post was quite sad, and there is more I will try to say later on the tragedy with former Oklahoma player Rosalind Ross. But here, I offer something upbeat that has no hoops connection and is probably of interest only to those who happen to be fans of classic sitcoms.

My all-time favorite sitcom debuted 40 years ago this weekend. Sheesh. Hard to believe it’s been four decades since TV viewers first heard Rhoda Morgenstern say to Mary Richards, “Hello … get out of my apartment!”

The “Mary Tyler Moore Show” premiered on Sept. 19, 1970, with an episode titled, “Love Is All Around.” We were introduced to Mary Richards, a 30-year-old career woman who was unmarried … by choice.
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